Cockneys vs Zombies (2012)

Starring: Harry Treadaway, Rasmus Hardiker, Michelle Ryan, Jack Doolan, Ashley Thomas, Richard Briers, Dudley Sutton, Honor Blackman, Georgia King, Tony Gardener

Directed by: Matthias Hoene

Rating: 1 2 3

The zombies get ready to battle the cockneys

Another day, another zombie concept movie. Cockneys vs Zombies. Lor, love a duck! And it doesn’t even star Ray Winstone.

Yup, I wasn’t expecting much from this East End undead gorefest, but in fact there’s – surprisingly – a fair bit to enjoy.

Hapless brothers Terry and Andy (Rasmus Hardiker and Harry Treadaway) plan to rob a bank. Not because they’re hardened criminals, but because their granddad’s care home is about to be sold off, leaving him with no other option but to move away from the sound of Bow Bells.

To boost their jellied eel credentials, the pair take along Zoe Slater, sorry, Michelle Ryan, their somewhat useless mate Davey Tuppence (Guinea Pigs’ Jack Doolan) and local gun-toting headcase Mental Mickey (Ashley Thomas). Annoyingly, however, the East End has been overrun by zombies.

Fortunately, thanks to Mickey, our gang are tooled up to the nines, and, oddly for a bunch of Brits, they’re all crack shots. Convenient too, as they set off on an escape mission to granddad’s care home. Fortunately (again) granddad is played by everyone’s favourite sub-Michael Caine hardman Alan Ford (Brick Top in Snatch is one of many cockney nut jobs he's played) who, if all else fails, can always shout the zombies into submission as he assembles his geriatric troops for battle: Honor Blackman (well, she was a Bond girl), Tinker from Lovejoy and Richard Briers. Blimey.

Harry Treadaway, Alan Ford and Dudley Sutton in Cockneys vs Zombies

Still, you’ve gotta hand it to ’em, an OAP Zombie Rourke’s Drift has not been done before, and it’s delightfully inventive and funny. Throw in a few nice genre digs, all reworked in an appropriately flashy, Guy Ritchie stylee, and you’ve got yourself a pretty entertaining, late night beer goggles horror flick.

But I have to say there’s something vaguely unsavoury about the gratuitous, blaze of glory celebration of firepower that ensues as the film draws to an explosive close, the poor defenceless zombies shambling unwittingly into the jubilant, bloodthirsty crossfire of our heavy artillery-wielding heroes. Suddenly the cosy, pearly king, cor blimey guvnor, keep it in the faaaahmly, good old gangster East End seems more like some crazy Midwest survivalist outpost. I’ll take my chance with the zombies any day. Lawks!

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